Results tagged ‘ World Series ’

Still Pumped from FanFest — and the Series!

I just got back to the hotel from FanFest and I’m still amazed by how many fans came out to see us even with the rain and everything! I can’t tell you how exciting it is to see soooo many people wearing Giants shirts and hats — and so happy!

Sometimes it still seems like the World Series was a dream. I was invited to speak Thursday at an event for team sponsors, and in the introduction they played a clip of my lead-off homer in Game 2. I watched it and thought, “Wow, I really did that.’’ I kind of need the evidence to remind myself it was all real.

Everywhere I went in the off-season people asked, “How are you guys so good?’’ I’d say, “I don’t know. We just play baseball. We try to just win that game on that day no matter what.’’

People always ask about Madison, too. They say, “That guy’s unbelievable! That’s the best pitcher in the world. How does he do that? How big is he?’’ I tell them he’s huge. I say he’s like a big bear. And I tell them he’s quiet and humble. And he’s just a boy still, only 25.

They want to see the new ring, as if we get it like a Little League trophy at the end of the series. Even if I had it, I wouldn’t wear it. I have hardly ever worn my ring from 2012. I don’t want to lose it or risk getting it stolen.

Of course, some people ask what happened on the play in the ninth inning of the seventh game. Sometimes I joke that I just wanted to make the game more interesting and exciting. The truth is when you’re about to make the final out of the World Series you do stuff you might not do in the regular season. The adrenaline is pumping. Before the pitch was thrown, I was telling myself, “You catch this ball no matter where it is.’’ So I went for it when I should have stayed back and just let it fall for a single. I got caught in no man’s land and the ball got by me.

And, no, I have not watched a replay of it. I will never watch a replay of it. I really care so much about my defense, and I don’t want to have an image of that play in my head. I want to just feed my brain all the positive plays.

I think the most memorable moment of the postseason was Crawford’s grand slam against Pittsburgh. That game was win or go home. Once he hit that homer, we could feel a little relief. We knew if we could just get into the playoffs, we could do some damage. And we did.

For myself, the thing I will tell my grandchildren is that I was able to be the lead-off hitter in the World Series for the San Francisco Giants. That’s a dream to be able to do that. And to win? That’s still unbelievable to me.

I spent a lot of the off-season buying furniture for our new house in Miami. My wife and I had a good time going all over the place looking at couches and tables and everything. I watched my little boy play T-ball. You’re supposed to be five years old and he’s only four, but he’s so good they let him play. I know I’m his dad, but to be honest he’s too good for T-ball. He’s good at pitching and hitting already. He really, really loves it.

We also went back to Venezuela for 20 days in December to see our families and to get our visas renewed. We built a new house down there, too. We had always lived with Mirna’s mother, so we didn’t have furniture of our own. So we have to furnish that whole place, too. But we’ll buy it all in Miami and ship it over because it’s too expensive in Venezuela. The house is in our hometown of Cúa, which is 20 miles outside Caracas along the Tuy River. A lot of people tell me I should get a big fancy apartment in Caracas, but Mirna and I like it in Cúa. This is where I grew up, and I don’t want to leave my hometown.My father and brothers are there, and my older son Grenyer. Mirna’s family is there. I will always have a home there.

I fly back to Miami tonight around 8 and get in sometime tomorrow morning. Not sure if I’ll make it to my workout, at least not in the morning. Asdrubal Cabrera, the second baseman for the Rays, and I workout with the same personal trainer. I’m feeling great and ready for spring training. I’ll fly to Arizona around the 15th or 16th.

So great to see so many of you today. We can’t wait to get back on the field and start working toward another ring!

Until the Last Out

It’s more than two hours before game time. We’re about to go out to batting practice. Will this be our last BP? You try not to think about it. You try to do what all of us have been doing since we were down 0-2 to Cincinnati: Focus on just this game. Forget what happened yesterday. Don’t worry about tomorrow. It has worked for us so far.

If you walked into our clubhouse right now, you’d think we were about to play a game in August instead of the fourth game of the World Series. Everyone’s relaxed and low-key. There’s loud music playing through the speakers. Some guys are sitting at their lockers, half-dressed, with headphones on and iPads open. Some are watching football on TV. The usual.

I’m guessing, though, that most of the guys didn’t sleep real well last night. I woke up three times. I kept thinking that I’m in a dream. I can’t take it all in. I think I’ll be sitting at my house one day about a month from now and say to my wife, “I think I was in the World Series.”

I also thought last night about my triple in the second inning that scored Hunter for the first run of the game. I was so excited when I reached third base. I hit a triple in the World Series! It was funny, too, that right before that, while I was in the batter’s box, Miguel Cabrera kind of yelled at me for calling time as the pitcher went into his windup. Mostly he was yelling at the umpire. “He can’t call time out right there!” he said. “You got to do a better job!”

Miguel was just playing mind games. I stepped out of the box because Sanchez, the Tigers’ pitcher, was trying to throw too quickly. He does that to knock the batter’s timing off. So I stepped out to slow him down. I guess it worked because he threw me a curveball that I lined into the gap.

Cabrera and I are good friends. He played with my brother when they were 14 or 15 years old, and everyone already knew Miguel would be a star. We played together in winter ball in Venezuela in 2007 and in the World Baseball Classic three years ago. He’s a great player and a great person. We talked and joked during batting practice before Game 2. He was saying how great our pitching staff was and how loud our fans were. He also joked that he would be stepping it up that game so watch out.

I’m happy about the triple, but not happy about the mistake I made in the seventh inning. I hit a chopper to Cabrera at third. The throw was low and Prince Fielder had to stretch and, as it turned out, he pulled his foot off the bag. I was called out, though replays showed I was safe. But I’m mad at myself for sliding into first. It’s the dumbest thing you can do. I had no intention of sliding but I wanted to get to first base so badly that I just found myself diving for the bag. Hunter told me as soon as I got back to the dugout that it makes no sense to slide into first. “I know, I know,” I said.

I didn’t write a blog after Game 2, so I’ll share a few things about that. Yes, I was actually trying to hit Crawford with my relay throw. We practice that play a lot, but I think Brandon was farther out in the field than usual. I threw to the spot I usually throw to, closer to the infield. Marco was there and made an unbelievable throw to nail the runner at home.

As for the bunt that stayed fair — of the thousands of bunts I have hit in games and practices, from the time I was a kid until now, I have never, ever hit a bunt that perfectly. I knew a good bunt right there could change the game. I told myself to calm down in the batter’s box. Be patient. As always, I asked my mother for help. And the ball seemed to actually flutter off my bat and die right inside the line.

There is definitely something special at work with this team. It’s like how the interaction of certain kinds of electrons produces energy. We’re a bunch of the right kinds of electrons interacting in a way that generates good energy. When I’m out in the field, I pray for the pitcher to throw a good pitch. When I’m in the dugout, I pray for the batter to get a hit. Praying is like sending energy. Angel, Marco, Joaquin, Crawford – they all say they pray during the game. I actually feel it when I’m at bat and in the field, like everyone’s with you when you’re in a pressure situation.

When we win, I look to the sky and thank God and my mother for hearing my prayers.

Today, after my restless night, I woke up at around 11. My family and I ate at P.F. Chang’s then I took the bus to the field around 3. For so many guys in here, this is the most important game of their lives. It certainly is for me. W know our pitchers and defense have saved us. But we have to score more runs. The Tigers can do a lot of damage at any time We have to face Miguel and Prince Fielder four times each. That’s a tough thing. One pitch to either one of those guys can change the whole game.

I like that the last two games have been so close. That’s what the World Series is supposed to be. The best teams fighting until the last out.

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